When it comes to video poker, or any poker online casino games (as the hand rankings are the same), the best possible outcome you’re probably thinking of is achieving a Royal Flush.  This is a hand that comprises a 10, Jack, Queen, King and an Ace – all of the same suit.  With odds of 649,740:1, however, the probability of this happening is rather slim.  Sometimes it’s better to aim lower and have higher chances of winning, which is why we’re going to have a look at why a pair can be a powerful hand in video poker.

If you are an instinctive gambler chasing down the big wins in online casino games, it is easy to discount the power inherent in a pair of matching playing cards.  After all, the payouts are minimal and the pizazz factor is missing in action.  That being said, breaking up a low or high pair in video poker can be more than poor judgement… it can be a grave mistake on your part!

## What is So Special About a Pair?

Why does a pair wield so much power?  In the context of video poker, a pair of jacks or better generates a payout of 1 for 1.  It is the lowest possible paying hand and one that effectively means you get your money back.  There are no actual winnings at all to boost the bankroll so why is it considered a smart strategy to hold onto a pair - any pair - to the draw?  This ‘rule’ applies even when you are dealt one or more high cards like a jack, queen, king or ace alongside a pair or two pairs.

## Odds and Probability Drive the Action

Well, the first thing to consider are the odds.  In laymen’s terms the odds refer to the likelihood of being dealt a particular card combination.  When it comes to a pair of jacks or better, the calculated odds are more than 7 to 1.  What that means is on average you will get dealt a high pair every seven to eight hands.  The odds of hitting a low pair are even better at around 2 to 1 or every two to three hands.  Compare that to the 47 to 1 odds of getting three of a kind or the 4,165 to 1 odds of being dealt four of kind and the value of the pair is as clear as daylight.

In reality the high pairs are what keep the online casino games flowing.  They ensure you have sufficient funds at your disposal to extend your video poker gambling sessions at Springbok Online Casino.  The more game rounds you can eke out on your betting budget, the higher your chances are of hitting a higher paying poker hand like a straight, flush or four of a kind.

Without the frequency of pays generated by the high pairs, playing video poker at Springbok Online Casino would become tedious and rather boring.  That is the power of a pair of jacks of better.  How about the low pairs?  What is the point of holding onto them when they do not qualify as a paying poker hand?

## Building Blocks of Higher Paying Hands

Notwithstanding the fact that all the online casino games in the video poker category start paying from a pair of jacks or better - that is if they pay for a pair at all - the low pairs can be the building blocks of something altogether more rewarding.  In fact, they can form four different poker hands that pay out at much higher odds.  In Jacks or Better, for instance, a low pair is the foundation for:

• Two pairs - 2 for 1
• Three of a kind - 3 for 1
• Full house - 9 for 1
• Four of a kind - 25 for 1

As a low pair has the highest probability of occurring, they add a fair bit of excitement to proceedings.  Instead of playing a series of dead hands, when you keep a pair you have a chance - albeit a slim one - of forming a lucrative card combination at the draw.

## Don’t Forget the Double or Nothing Gamble

We have already ascertained the high pairs in the online casino games that fall into the video poker genre pay out at 1 for 1.  That may be meagre pickings but at Springbok Online Casino there is a twist to the tale and potentially a pleasant one at that.   When you play video poker in the lower denominations and hit a paying combination, you are given the option of doubling the winnings.

What you have to do is pick one face down playing card.  If it is of a higher value than that of the card displayed on the gaming interface, the existing payout is automatically doubled.  If not, you lose your winnings.  With the Double or Nothing gamble you have the opportunity to actually bank a bit of money on the frequently occurring high pair.  You may not make sufficient money to break the proverbial bank but you may be fortunate enough to add a little bit of extra cash to your bankroll nonetheless.

## Register a Springbok Online Casino Account: Experience the Power of the Pair!

Playing online casino games should ideally be about having fun.  If you win money in the process that is an added boon.  The good news is if you follow our advice and hold onto the pairs in video poker, there is a good chance there will be a bit of action on every other hand.  That of course means your gambling sessions at Springbok Online Casino will last longer - and if you are patient, you may just land a couple of elusive big wins.

The only way to appreciate the power inherent in the low and high pairs in video poker is to experience the action in real time.  Why not register an account at Springbok Online Casino and play Jacks or Better on your PC or phone?  There is even a selection of casino bonus codes on the promotions page that are designed to enable partially sponsored access to our online casino games!  Go on… sign up now and become a member of the best online casino for South Africans.